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Diabetes and Alcohol – Women’s Health Library –

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Drinking alcohol can make you feel lightheaded at first and drowsy as you drink more, both of which may be similar to the symptoms of low blood sugar. Some people confuse low blood sugar with drunkenness, so be sure to wear a medical alert tag and tell people you have diabetes. Drinking alcohol over many years can cause damage to your liver, called cirrhosis. As reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, light drinking might actually help you control your blood sugar — at least in the short term — while possibly lowering your risk for heart disease. If you are controlling your diabetes and don’t have other health problems, it may be okay to have a drink once in a while. To make sure that a person with diabetes receives proper medical care for hypoglycemia, he or she should carry a card, wear an identification bracelet, or wear a necklace indicating that he or she has diabetes.

Work with your doctor or other diabetes expert to find what is best for you. (5) Alcohol consumption can cause episodes of severe hypoglycaemia in diabetic patients, sometimes occurring several hours later. It will give you a throbbing headache, a flushed face, palpitations and make you feel very sick. Proven ways of improving your health include: healthy eating, being active, and being a non-smoker. Do not omit food from your regular meal plan and replace it with alcohol. Take the time to make sure you’re in the safe zone. Limited research suggests that sensitivity to alcohol’s health effects may increase with age.

If you are a man, limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day with a meal. A standard drink is: A 12 fl oz (355 mL) bottle of beer or wine cooler. Limit alcohol to 1 drink a day with a meal if you are a woman. A mixed drink with 1.5 fl oz (44 mL) of 80-proof hard liquor, such as gin, whiskey, or rum. Choose alcoholic drinks wisely. With hard alcohol, use sugar-free mixers, such as water, diet tonic, or club soda. A mixed drink with 1.5 fl oz (44 mL) of 80-proof hard liquor, such as gin, whiskey, or rum.

Or add club soda to wine to dilute it. Also remember that most alcoholic drinks have a lot of calories. Check your blood sugar before you go to bed. Of course, you’re getting more than alcohol when you drink a beer or a glass of wine: You’re also getting a load of sugar. Don’t drink after exercise. The exercise itself lowers blood sugar. Never drink on an empty stomach.

If you do drink alcohol, drink it only with a meal or snack. You may be asked to take several tablets a day during the first few days of treatment, but after this your dose will be reduced. What is a “standard drink”? You have nerve damage. Drinking can make it worse and increase the pain, numbness, and other symptoms.

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